I would like to speak directly to every supporter of Barack Obama. The War of Attrition has now begun. Contrary to those who though I might be drinking the kool-aid, I am not surprised to see this outcome.
In the summertime, I volunteered for the Obama campaign. Even at a minor role, I got to see a bit of the overall strategy from within the camp. We were prepared for a delegate fight all along. This was the conventional thinking and it is solid thinking for any outsider candidate who stands any chance at all against a powerful name and all the clout that goes along with it.
And I must tell you, at the time, though I was committed to Obama's campaign, I secretly scoffed at the notion that we would even have reached this point. This was when the polls, the media, and indeed most of us thought that Clinton's nomination was a mere formality and Obama would play a role as second-fiddle, padding his nest for future runs, while conceding the race to a superior presumptive nominee.
This was in those long ago days of June, where Obama was running a distant second place.
Do not forget how far we have come. Do not forget that we never bought into some idea that this election was owed to us. We are the outsiders fighting the insiders and the Old Guard never dies easily.
I see this as our moment. Blogging is a recently new phenomenon, but I would like to see us unify together and add our own unique voice to the debate. I would like to see more people join us and would delight in drawing in other people who might never have been inclined to voice their opinions in an public forum or have much interest at all in politics--I would like to see their voices brought into the discussion.
Although the turnout numbers were strong, even in Ohio, one of the figures I came across said that record turnout comprised only 45% of all registered voters. In a true representative democracy, which is a standard of government I believe we all want desperately put into action, 45% should be seen not as a triumph, but a challenge to draw even more people out and get even more people involved.
The Founding Fathers envisioned a government whereby all citizens would take an active role in shaping the context and scope of government. The assumption was that out of a desire to make the best government possible, we would all make a concerted effort towards shaping policy and to correct its mistakes through needed reform. That is a spirit deep inside the core of every American, and our challenge is to find a way to tap into that spirit. Our challenge is to find a way to get people to turn off American Idol and turn onto to politics. Our challenge is a way to get people not to turn their heads and look away, but to turn towards their civic responsibility as Americans.
Somewhere along the line, we seem to have forgotten that this government is ours and that simply being born here does not indicate that we do not have a duty to work together for the good of every citizen. All of our causes have selfish, ulterior motives behind them at the root, but better to have our selfishness work for everyone, not just we as individuals.
Very shortly, with this world expanding, with this world growing, as we move ever more quickly towards a world economy and a global mindset, we will not be able to have the luxury of thinking merely of ourselves as Americans. Other countries already resent our myopic gaze, which is that of Narcissus observing himself in the mirror. We are going to be in for a rude awakening when we realize that it really wasn't all about me, in the end.
We are fighting for a noble purpose, but we are also fighting for change and for a new way of doing things. We know that the old ways are not working and have not worked, though we also know that those who would oppose us would appeal to fear, hatred, and the worst traits of humanity to secure their power and their own claim to it.
Take tonight as an opportunity to make your voices heard. Take tonight as a way to formulate our opinions in ways that enrich us, and do not divide us. Take tonight as a way to realize the enormous implications of where this country and this world is headed. Take tonight to realize that we are only as strong as our weakest link and that people before us have fought and even given their lives to support movements they knew were well beyond themselves and were passionately devoted towards.
Let us take back government. Let us not be afraid. Let us not be discouraged.
Let us organize, solidify, and return fire. The war may be long, but so long as we keep fighting, we will not be defeated.